War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0614 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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and courage of our troops, and believing as I do that Providence will favor ours as the just cause, I cannot doubt that success will crown our efforts and sacrifices.

The Army will unite with me in the feeling of regret that the weight of many years and the effect of increasing infirmities, contracted and intensified in his country's service, should just now remove from our head the great soldier of our nation-the hero who in his youth raised high the reputation of his country on the fields of Canada, which he hallowed with his blood; who in more mature years proved to the world that American skill and valor could repeat if not eclipse the exploits of Cortez in the land of the Montezumas; whose whole life has been devoted to the service of his country;whose whole efforts have been directed to uphold our honor at the smallest sacrifice of life-a warrior who scorned the selfish glories of the battle-field when his great qualities as a statesman could be employed more profitably for his country; a citizen who in his declining years has given to the world the most shining instance of loyalty, in disregarding all ties of birth and clinging still to the cause of truth and honor. Such has been the career, such the character, of Winfield Scott, whom it has long been the delight of the nation to honor both as a man and a soldier. While we regret his loss, there is one thing we cannot regret-the bright example he has left for our emulation. Let us all hope and pray that his declining years may be passed in peace and happiness, and that they may be cheered by the success of the country and the cause he has fought for and loved so well. Beyond all that, let us do nothing that can cause him to blush for us; let no defeat of the Army he has so long commanded embitter his last years, but let our victories illuminate the close of a life so grand.


Major-General, Commanding U. S. Army.


Washington, November 1, 1861.

Lieutenant General WINFIELD SCOTT, Present:

GENERAL: It was my duty to lay before the President your letter of yesterday, asking to be retired under the recent act of Congress. In separating from you, I cannot refrain from expressing my deep regret that your health, shattered by long service and repeated wounds received in your country's defense, should render it necessary for you to retire from your high position at this momentous period of our history. Although you are not to remain in active service, I yet hope that while I continue in charge of the Department over which I now preside I shall at times be permitted to avail myself of the benefits of your wise counsels and sage experience. It has been my good fortune to enjoy a personal acquaintance with you for over thirty years, and the pleasant relations of that long time have been greatly strengthened by your cordial and entire co-operation in all the great questions which have occupied the Department and convulsed the country for the last six months. In parting from you, I can only express the hope that a merciful Providence, which has protected you amidst so many trails, will improve your health and continue your life long after the people of the country shall have been restored to their former happiness and prosperity.

I am, general, very sincerely, your friend and servant,


Secretary of War.